Is it worth buying a .22LR pistol for purely instructional purposes?

This is a discussion on Is it worth buying a .22LR pistol for purely instructional purposes? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm taking a co-worker shooting this Sunday. It'll be the first time she's ever fired a gun, and I've been dusting off my range instructor ...

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Thread: Is it worth buying a .22LR pistol for purely instructional purposes?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Is it worth buying a .22LR pistol for purely instructional purposes?

    I'm taking a co-worker shooting this Sunday. It'll be the first time she's ever fired a gun, and I've been dusting off my range instructor hat to make sure she has a good time and learns the basics.

    I'm planning to have a pre-range instructional session with her, teach her how to operate a basic semi-auto rifle and pistol, and introduce her to the 4 rules.

    Once we get to the range, I'm going to start her off with a .22 rifle on the pistol range, and then move up to pistols after a bit, and hit the 100yd with my AR if time permits.

    So here's the dillemma: I only have my USP/C in .40 and a 1911 in .45. Neither one is a small gun, but I definitely want her to shoot some pistols. So, should I pick up a .22 pistol as well?

    I've been lusting after a P22 for a while, but I just can't bring myself to drop $400 on it. If I can find a Beretta Bobcat for a good price, I might be willing to drop the cash, but my last one was finicky about ammo, and I don't want to deal with clearing a lot of jams on this outing.

    So, what do you think? Should I get a .22 pistol just to train people on, or go straight to the 1911? Any suggestions if I do decide to get one?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    only my opinion, but i think it's absolutely worth it...it could be the difference between creating someone who loves to shoot and someone who will never do it ever again

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    If you plan on doing a lot of training it would be worth it. You can fire a whole lot of .22 ammo for the price of a box of .40 or .45.

    Also it might be easier to teach the basics if they are not scared to death of recoil though sooner or latter they still need to move up.

    anyway that's just my 2 cents
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    My wife loves to shoot our Ruger Gov't MKII. When she goes to the range with me I know she will happily shoot 100 rds of .22lr and get in valuable pistol practice.

    I also know she will only shoot 5 rds of .38+P out of her Taurus 605 on her own, and 10 more rounds with my encouragement.

    Bottom line is she likes to practice with the .22 and that practice translates to other pistols very well. So get a good target .22 for both of you to shoot.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    I don't know what your hobbies are, but I find a .22 pistol great for an afternoon of plinking.

    Since you already have a 1911, I would look into getting a .22 conversion for it. Unfortunately, that probably isn't doable by Sunday. This would make a good, inexpensive training aid.

    Ruger makes several .22 semi-autos that are good values. Check out the Mark I/II/III series. Supposedly, the grip of the 22/45 is supposed to approximate that of a 1911, but I've never held one.

    Do you have any buds that would loan you a .22? I would hate to rush into buying something. On the other hand, I have always started folks out on a .22.

    Don't undersell the 1911 as suitable for small hands. The 1911 works surprisingly well in this role, especially with a short trigger.

    BTW, thanks for taking the time to introduce somebody to the sport. It's something that we all should do from time to time.

    YMMV.

    Cheers,
    Herk

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raysheen View Post
    only my opinion, but i think it's absolutely worth it...it could be the difference between creating someone who loves to shoot and someone who will never do it ever again
    Agreed.

    As well it makes for great individual practice too for any level of experience shooter.
    IMHO everyone who is serious about the craft should have a .22 pistol in their toolbox or atleast access to one, and use it.

    - Janq
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    Distinguished Member Array USPnTX's Avatar
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    I think that it is a great idea to start new shooters on a .22 of some sort. I started my wife and daughter on a .22 rifle and it was a disaster however. They didn't like the feel of a rifle. Having to place their cheek on the stock, line up the sights and holding the stock against their shoulder was way too much for them. After the rifle debacle we walked over to the pistol range and they had a blast. For some reason both of them felt less intimidated by the .22 pistol. It was easier for them to handle, operate and shoot. In fact, after 75 rounds of .22 ammo my wife picked up my USPc in .40 and fired three mags. It was her first time to ever fire a rifle or pistol.

    As for a .22 pistol, I would go with the Ruger Mark III 22/45. It has the same grip angle and fire control locations as a 1911. It definitely preps a shooter for a 1911.
    "Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Absolutly how can ya not own a 22 pistol ?

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    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    22lr Conversion

    I use a ciener 22 conversion for my 1911 when I practice. I will shoot over 200 rounds at the time while practicing draws, 1-shot, 2-shot drills and more. It is even effective when practicing malfunctions. It has help me with my IDPA scores. I know I couldnt afford to shoot 200 rds of 45acp all the time.

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    Ditto most comments - get one!!!

    Whether for helping teach others or just available for cheep plinking and grins ..... as Bud said .....
    Absolutly how can ya not own a 22 pistol ?
    Chris - P95
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Just bought a Browning Buckmark 5.5 Match Target for EXACTLY the reasons mentioned above. Recently, on the Shooting Gallery TV Show, a member of the U.S. Army Markmanship Team (God Bless 'em) was asked the same question. His answer was a resounding YES! According to him "all the skills required for me to remain sharp & competitive in Action Pistol Shooting can honed using a .22 autoloader". His choice (hehe) was a Browning Buckmark 5.5 Match Target.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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    Suggestion

    But a drop on .22 LR Conversion Kit for your 1911 .45.
    You do not need to go through a FFL to buy one and that way you'll have 2 guns in one and you can do some really cheap rimfire practice yourself in the future. They are great fun and only $200.00
    Brownell's can get one right out to you.
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    I agree with the .22 pistol idea, a good place for her to start and build her confidence. I think it is very wise that you've taken that into consideration for a new shooter. Gal shooters make good pro-gun voters too.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    Senior Member Array firefighter4884's Avatar
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    I'm a huge fan of practice with a .22....

    it's so bad that I have three .22 pistols...and at least one of them always makes its way to the range with me.

    I use it for three things.

    1) Introducing new shooters to the sport. When I was in college, I was constantly taking friends to the range and letting them shoot the .22. A bunch of those people have gone on and are now gun enthusiasts themselves, a few of them even carry (the rest live in NJ).

    2) Plinking - When I want to go to the range and just plink, I'd much rather do it using my .22, it's far more economical. I can shoot 10x as many rounds as I can through either of my .40's!

    3) Fixing mistakes - When I first started shooting, (it's not as bad anymore) I used to flinch ALL the time. I'd figure out I had the problem by hiding snap caps in my magazines, and notice the flinch when I pulled the trigger. I'd go back to using the .22 to get ride of that flinch. In addition, the .22 is great for slow fire accuracy practice, because there is no excuse for any mistakes that you make...it's all you!

    --Jim
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    ~Never do anything that you don't want to have to explain to the paramedics...~

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    well, I guess that settles it. I'll have to go by the local gun shop tonight and see what their selection is.

    A couple of people have recommended Rugers. I'm not very familiar with their line-up or how difficult they are to tear down. Can anyone give me a crash course (I'm at work, and I don't really want to be researching guns here, even .22's)? What other cheap, reliable, and easy to clean .22 pistols are out there?

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